Another weekend – another dispiriting round of stories as young couples hunt for property.

Indeed, the terrain looks bleaker for those locked out of the property market.

Confidence in the housing market has, according to the Melbourne Institute of applied Economics, collapsed.

Just 11.6 per cent of us now feel property is their best investment.

On top of that, the Financial Review at least is saying all the banks will follow NABs lead in increasing interest rates before the Reserve Bank announces the official rate on April 4.

Seven basis points – from 5.25 per cent to 5.32 per cent – may not seem much. For a NAB customer with a $300,000 and a 30-year loan, the change will amount to an extra $13 a month.

But who has a $300,000 30-year loan, and what exactly would it buy in Sydney or Melbourne, where one-bedders go for $600,000 plus.

Investor home loans increased by 25 basis points from 5.55 per cent to 5.8 per cent per annum.

It comes a day after a warning from JP Morgan that investors who rely on property cashflows to meet mortgage repayments could face rate hikes of up to three per cent in the near future.

The NAB now expects the Reserve Bank to keep the cash rate at 1.5 per cent throughout 2017.

“The housing markets in Sydney and Melbourne continue to defy belief in 2017, with property prices showing no real signs of slowing despite tightening credit conditions and concerns about affordability,’’ NAB’s chief economist Alan Oster said.

More bad news for new home seekers is that investors are back in the property market in a big way snapping up more than 50% of apartments at auctions.

Between October and January, the annual growth in lending to property investors jumped from 9 per cent to 27 per cent.

Investors borrowed $13.8 billion in January, more than the $13.6 billion that was lent to owner-occupiers. Of the $13.8 billion, only $1.2 billion was for building new homes.


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